Standing quietly and serenely in downtown Singapore, St Andrew’s Cathedral has witnessed many of Singapore’s major events – it even served as an emergency hospital during the Second World War.
It is almost 200 years old and from that very spot, Singapore’s largest cathedral watched as the landscape around it changed over the years. It watched as the National Library got torn down to make way for a tunnel to ease traffic. It watched as the food vendors along the Esplanade made way for the world-class theatre that welcomes millions of visitors a year. And most recently, it watched as its neighbour, the former Supreme Court got gutted and refurbished into the swanky new Singapore National Gallery.
This outstanding monument is hard to miss, yet many often walk by it on the way to City Hall MRT station, Central Fire Station, or now, probably the Singapore National Gallery, without giving it a second glance.
The land was reserved for a church in 1823 by none other than Sir Stanford Raffles, the founder of modern Singapore. The original church was struck by lightning twice and had to be rebuilt. It was financed by Scottish merchants, and therefore, was named St Andrew’s Cathedral, after Saint Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland.
It is a functioning Anglican church, and still conducts Sunday services for today’s community. It attracts many wedding couples who have their pre-wedding pictures taken at the church’s lawn – that’s OK with the church; you’ll just have to write to them in advance. It used to conduct guided tours, but somehow that’s seemed to have stopped. What a pity – so much of Singapore needs to be discovered!
Special note for kids: the trees that line the roads are saga trees, which means that there are plenty of red saga seeds to be picked! And the lawn is full of grasshoppers!
St Andrew’s Cathedral is located at 11 St Andrew’s Road Singapore 178959
How to get there:
Nearest MRT station: City Hall (it is visible from City Hall MRT station). Just cross over.
Buses: By bus : 61, 124, 145, 166, 174, 197, 174M, 32, 51, 63, 80, 195, 851, 961
Or refer to this map.
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